I have followed Steele Clarke Smith III for several years. I knew of his work with Idrasil and was extremely interested in this product and its medicinal value. Having had the pleasure of meeting Steele, I was overwhelmed by the story of his journey to bring forth this incredible product. Steele gave his health, his soul, and nearly his life to bring to market this pill that will allow those in later stage of disease to be able to die with the dignity we all want and deserve. Steele has brought to the world one of the most disruptive products in chronic illness and compassionate care. And he did so for all the right reasons.
When I spoke with Steele, the day after Christmas, he sounded a little hoarse. I asked if he was getting sick, “No,” he explained, “I have been on the phone the entire day and I am leaving for London in the morning.” Still, he gave me an hour of his time.
What’s one thing you wish you had known when you began your career?
This industry found me. I needed the cannabis. I was sick.
When I started…there was no if – but when – the police would show up. I knew I always had to be ready to go. Always had be ready to accept losing everything. I didn’t know just how rough it was going to be. It forces a person who is not a gangster, to be a gangster.
In November 2007 I was indicted for illegal marijuana cultivation. Over sixty entities were raided. The largest in history. I was looking at 25 years to life. Twenty days in the “hole” changed me. I laid on that cold, dank floor and wanted to die. I was sick and In and out of consciousness. The scripture “John 3:16” was scrawled in large red letters on the wall. Why had I never seen it before? I knew it was a message for me. I knew what it meant. I had to quit living like a gangster, making tons of money and using it only for my own personal gain. I had to start doing the right thing for the right reason. I had to bring forth a product from cannabis that would be used for all people in need.
Ten months later, I was released from federal prison.
What is your biggest failure, and what did you learn from it?
It has nothing to do with cannabis. The tech area, I just can’t do it. I’ve churned through it. I have trusted people I shouldn’t have. I’ve been lied to. Most of the problems I have had in business have been tech related. You have to hire the right people!
What advice would you give someone wanting to pursue a career similar to yours?
Be well capitalized. Have money and lots of it. Have good partners. Biggest problem is running out of money. Most people think there is a secret to having a cannabis company. There is no secret. Weed is not new. We need to put the same layers of medical regulations and policies in place to regulate cannabis like any other medicine.
Who are the three people who have been the most influential to you?
Theresa Smith – my wife of 27 years. It’s always been just the two of us. We have been inseparable since the day I convinced her to go have a cup of coffee with me.
Federal Attorney Patrick McLaughlin – Patrick McLaughlin had a 26 year run as the Central District US Prosecutor. He signed the prosecution warrant for my arrest. In 2014 I brought him into C3 International. At age 70, Patrick works for me!
CFO Leon Fleischman – Leon was referred to Steele by a very close friend and mentor, someone that he trusted and had known for thirty years. His introduction was simply “a client needs help”. Leon was shocked to learn that this was a cannabis company. When Leon called Steele, he was firm, “I know nothing about this industry”. Steele’s response, “Don’t worry about the industry, just do it right!.”
What! A cannabis company that wanted to do things right! Leon was sucked in.
There was no one in the industry who had experienced such hardships, no one that pushed the limits harder than Steele, and no one so focused on doing what he believed was the right thing to do that he could be quite polarizing to others within the industry. Six years later, Leon shares many of Steele’s view on medicine. He has had his own personal experiences with terminally ill family members. And he still is determined to make sure that C3 Technologies, Inc. is doing things right.
(Note – At the time of this writing, Steele had just hired Alexander Nix from Cambridge Analytica as CMO.)
What is the one common myth about your profession or field that you want to debunk?
Cannabis as a medicine is special. Cannabis needs to transition from the negative connotation it has today and straight to ubiquity!
If you could step into my shoes, what would you have asked yourself that I didn’t?
If you are insured, and you are sick… go to the doctor. If you have no insurance, talk to everyone before you go to the doctor.
If what is going on is potentially neurological use oral cannabinoids with THC for 24 hours. As high in THC as you can get. To be safe, get it at the Green Cross. If it Is better, great…if it is the same, do it again!
Spread the word…use cannabis which is multi-molecular and thus naturally beneficial for any neurological condition. Doctors only prescribe single molecular drugs. Tell your doctor you need a multi-molecule, natural medicine.
What brings you the most joy in your life?
Righting the wrong. A fraud was perpetrated by man when they allowed the removal of the Endocannabinoid system from all medical education programs.
Cannabis can help in so many ways. Whether it be controlling fats or sugar, diabetes, cancer, or organ failure.
What is natural is always better!